Wednesday, April 21, 2010

You didn't expect us to panic, now, did you?

There were 150 games left in the regular season, but you'd have thought it was late July the way many pundits, fans and hysterics were acting when the Mets returned home with a 4-8 record.

The Mets were doomed. "You are what your record says you are," as Bill Parcells liked to say, and the Mets were simply one of the worst teams in baseball. Left for dead. Written off. No hope.

There are now 148 games left in the season, and all of a sudden, it's a brand-new day.

The 6-8 Mets have won two in a row! Mike Pelfrey is awesome! Ike Davis is here! No more Mike Jacobs! Jose Reyes looks like his old self again! The Phillies and Braves are only 8-5!

The two wins over the Cubs (who are not playing well and must be giving Lou Piniella one doozy of an ulcer) certainly feel like a turning point, although perhaps the true pivot of the season was the 20-inning victory over the Cardinals -- not because it was won with dramatic flair, but because the team never said 'die.'

Currently, three (count 'em) starting pitchers are giving fans confidence in Santana, Pelfrey and Niese, and while John Maine is still struggling to right his own ship, even Ollie Perez has an air of, "You know what? I'm putting it all together" about him these days.

But the thing that gives the Mets and their fans the biggest jolt is Jose Reyes. We caught our first real glimpse of the old Jose Tuesday night, as he tripled in two runs and finished with four of the team's nine hits. And when he rose up from the cloud of dust after his triple, clapping his hands and pointing to the dugout, you thought, "Yes... he's finally back."

Imagine this team with a healthy Carlos Beltran. Then again, maybe it's best not to think about that.

Beltran visited Dr. Steadman in Colorado and while he was "making progress," he still can't run. Will Carroll initially tweeted that there was "no progress," and later SI's Jon Heyman clarified the situation somewhat by saying Dr. Steadman told Beltran he couldn't run until the bone bruises, or "hot spots," had healed.

What's most frustrating for me is how this situation opens the door for fans to become doctors and speculate as to how long Beltran will be out, why he didn't just have microfracture surgery last summer, and whether he really did have the surgery and it's all a cover-up.

To me, greater and more educated medical minds than I (and most of us) assessed the situation and did what was done. All we can do as fans is stop speculating and just get used to life without Beltran, and let Angel Pagan play that role for the foreseeable future.

And if that means Pagan batting third to "lengthen the lineup," then why not? Three switch-hitters followed by Wright, Bay and then either Francoeur or Davis depending on the pitcher, and then the catcher? If the starting pitching keeps it up, that lineup ain't that bad.

Eight games left in the homestand. Too early to panic, too early to think our problems are solved. Nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the games. What a concept.

1 comment:

  1. It's just a matter of time before this site is called

    I say keep Ike up all year....this is a throw away year anyway and let him get use to the experience.....Jenry is going to be nasty and should be a starter but a little bullpen work to get use to major league hitters in real games should help his development. If they are good enough play them no reason to wait.